Banana Bread (Inspired by the Disneyland Hotel)

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I was in a banana bread-making mood last weekend. And I just so happened to come across this recipe at Food.com, where they mentioned that this banana bread is served at the Disneyland Hotel. Not having ever stayed there myself, I hadn’t ever tasted their banana bread, but it sounded like a great recipe to try! After all, I’m sure they serve wonderful food at the Disneyland Hotel, right down to their banana bread. :)

I made a few small changes to the recipe and decided to add some pecans to it, too. My baking time was also a little less than what the original recipe had mentioned. This is a really good basic banana bread with a rich, buttery taste, so if you have some ripe bananas you will need to keep this recipe in mind! The batter is thick and creamy and bakes into 2 yummy 8 x 4″ loaves. And believe me, you will be glad you have 2 loaves of this banana bread to enjoy!

BANANA BREAD (INSPIRED BY THE DISNEYLAND HOTEL),  slightly adapted from Food.com

Makes two 8 x 4″ loaves

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • 2 cups mashed ripe bananas
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups unbleached flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease and flour two 8 x 4″ loaf pans; set aside.

In large bowl, cream softened butter and sugar until well blended. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add milk, mashed bananas, and vanilla, mixing everything well.

In medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda. Add dry ingredients, a third at a time, to mixture in large bowl, stirring until everything is well blended. Fold in chopped pecans and stir until they are evenly incorporated into the batter.

Spoon batter in equal amounts into two 8 x 4″ loaf pans and bake at 350˚F for 52 to 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes, then remove loaves from pans and cool completely on wire rack.

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Or, if you want to eat this banana bread warm, let it cool for a total of about 15 to 20 minutes–it will be easier to slice if you let it cool a little.

I’ve been to Disneyland, but not Disney World. I haven’t stayed at any of the Disney Resort Hotels, but I’m sure they would be wonderful! Have any of you stayed at a Disney Hotel and have you had their banana bread?

I’m linking this to Fiesta Friday at The Novice Gardener.

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Pomegranate Walnut Banana Bread

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I had some very ripe bananas a few days ago, so naturally I thought of making banana bread. But I wanted to try something different. I’ve been seeing recipes with pomegranate seeds quite a bit, and I finally tried some. I love the way they taste, so juicy with a light sweetness, and a little crunchiness to them, too (that’s the inner seed part). And I hear they’re so good for you! So I decided to try them in banana bread and add some walnuts…and that’s how I came up with this Pomegranate Walnut Banana Bread. It’s very dense and moist, with a light sweetness from the pomegranate seeds and the Light Cream Glaze. The pomegranate seeds and the walnuts give this bread a crunchy texture, too, so it’s a bread you’ll want to chew on a bit more. I really liked it–if you like pomegranate seeds, I think you’ll like this, too! If you haven’t ever eaten pomegranate seeds, here’s a helpful article that tells you more about them at LiveStrong.com.

Seeding the pomegranate can take a little time since there are quite a few seeds in there, so if you don’t have the time or interest in seeding a pomegranate, you can buy pomegranate seeds in the produce section of many grocery stores, or even at some Sam’s Clubs (although it’s definitely cheaper to seed your own pomegranate). The juicy outer parts of the seeds are called Arils–you may see the packaging labeled like that. Also, I recommend greasing and flouring your pan, even if it’s nonstick, because this loaf is so dense and moist, it could easily stick to the bottom of the pan if you didn’t. I greased and floured my pan, and it came out very easily, so it pays to do that!

POMEGRANATE WALNUT BANANA BREAD by NancyCreative

Makes one 9×5″ loaf

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup non-GMO canola oil or light olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Half & Half (light cream)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 large very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • seeds from 1 large pomegranate, divided (about 2 cups total–use 1 2/3 cups in the batter, and save the rest for sprinkling on top of the bread after it’s glazed and on each individual slice when serving)
  • Light Cream glaze (see recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease and flour a 9×5″ loaf pan; set aside.

In large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, salt, and baking powder.

In medium bowl, beat the eggs, then add in the oil, Half & Half (light cream), and vanilla, blending well. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients in the large bowl, mixing everything well.

Fold in the mashed bananas, blending well, then blend in the chopped walnuts and pomegranate seeds.

Bake at 350˚F  for 55 to 60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean or almost clean. Let loaf cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool on wire rack.

When cake is completely cool or just slightly warm, top with the Light Cream glaze…

LIGHT CREAM GLAZE

  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar)
  • 2 Tablespoons Half & Half (light cream)
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds for garnish (sprinkle some on top of the loaf and some on each slice when serving)

Mix confectioner’s sugar and Half & Half together until well-blended and smooth. Drizzle over loaf. Sprinkle some of the pomegranate seeds on top of the glaze and let set before serving; sprinkle the rest of the seeds on each slice when serving.

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I’m so glad I finally gave pomegranate seeds a try! Have you made any recipes with them?

Butterscotch Pecan Banana Bread with Butterscotch Drizzle

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I haven’t made banana bread for some time, so I decided to try making an autumny type of banana bread with butterscotch chips and pecans–for some reason, I tend to make more butterscotch-flavored things in the fall! I chopped up the butterscotch chips so they would be lighter and more evenly distributed in the batter, and I really liked the way this Butterscotch Pecan Banana Bread turned out! It’s dense and moist with a nice blend of banana-butterscotch flavor. I also made a butterscotch drizzle to go on top, because a little drizzle of extra sweetness never hurts, does it? It’s kind of like a “hard-shell” drizzle and will break off a little as you cut the loaf, but it gives the top of the loaf just the right amount of butterscotch sweetness!

BUTTERSCOTCH PECAN BANANA BREAD WITH BUTTERSCOTCH DRIZZLE by NancyCreative, adapted from Food.com

Makes one 9 x 5″ loaf

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 large ripe bananas, mashed
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup butterscotch chips, coarsely chopped–measure out the 3/4 cup before you chop them (Note: chill them in your fridge before you chop them; that makes them easier to chop!)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans (measure them out after you’ve chopped the nuts)

Butterscotch Drizzle

  • 1/2 cup butterscotch chips
  • 3/4 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease or spray a 9 x 5″ loaf pan; set aside (if your pan is not non-stick, you may want to dust it with flour, too).

In medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg. and salt; set aside.

In large bowl, combine mashed bananas, sugar, eggs, and melted butter, blending well. Add in the greek yogurt and blend everything well.

Add the flour mixture, half the amount at a time, to the banana mixture and mix just until everything is blended together. Fold in the coarsely chopped butterscotch chips and finely chopped pecans. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake at 350˚F for 50 to 53 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing, then cool completely on wire rack. When loaf has cooled, top with Butterscotch Drizzle.

To make the Butterscotch Drizzle, place butterscotch chips in a small microwave-safe bowl and heat for 30 seconds. Stir, then heat for another 30 seconds and stir again, until melted chips are smooth and creamy. If the chips aren’t quite melted enough, heat another 15 to 30 seconds and stir. Add in the coconut oil and blend well. Immediately drizzle over cooled loaf, then sprinkle chopped pecans on top. Let glaze set about 15 to 20 minutes before cutting into slices and serving.

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I didn’t realize butterscotch and bananas made such a great combination! Have you made anything with these two ingredients before?

Six of My Favorite Pumpkin Recipes

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Every autumn I get in the pumpkin-baking mood. Here are some of my favorite recipes I’ve posted before–if you haven’t seen them already, you may want to check them out!

Pam’s Pumpkin Sheet Cake (above)…a large, moist, yummy cake topped with rich cream cheese frosting!

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Pumpkin Cornbread or Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins…great for a fall breakfast or brunch!

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Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting…a great autumn cupcake!

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Pumpkin Bread with Pumpkin Buttercream…tastes great with or without the frosting–you can serve it for breakfast or brunch unfrosted, or serve it for dessert with the frosting!

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Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread…another pumpkin bread, with a delicious cream cheese filling!

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Double-Glazed Pumpkin Scones…a real treat any time of day!

Have you been doing lots of pumpkin-baking? Let me know if you try any of these out!

Linked to Foodie Friday.

Chocolate Chip-Cherry Banana Bread

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I love trying different variations on banana bread–there seem to be so many! I’ve made a Chocolate Chip Banana Bread before, which is really yummy, so when I saw a recipe at BetterHomesandGardens.com for a banana bread with both chocolate chips and cherries in it, I knew I needed to try it out! I made some changes to the recipe, including using a little more chopped cherries, walnuts, and mini chocolate chips. This quick bread is such a treat and if you want a more elaborate treat, you can add a scoop of vanilla or cherry ice cream on top of a warmed, thick slice of this bread and drizzle chocolate or hot fudge sauce over it all!

Another thing about this bread is that I think it tastes even better after a day or two. It comes out of the oven a little on the crusty side, but when it’s completely cooled, wrapped, and refrigerated overnight, it moistens up and the flavor seems a little more enhanced somehow. You can also freeze this–it thaws out well and tastes great!

CHOCOLATE CHIP–CHERRY BANANA BREAD by NancyCreative, adapted from BetterHomesandGardens.com

Makes a 9×5″ loaf

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup mashed banana (about 2 small-to-medium bananas)
  • 12 Maraschino cherries, drained and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350˚F.  Lightly spray or grease a 9×5″ loaf pan; set aside.

In large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in center of flour mixture; set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine Greek yogurt (or sour cream), eggs, oil, and vanilla. Stir in mashed bananas.

Add  yogurt (or sour cream) mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moistened (batter will be lumpy). Fold in chopped cherries, walnuts, and mini chocolate chips.

Spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake at 350˚F for 50 to 53 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out almost clean–be careful not to overbake, or the bread will be dry. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove bread from pan and cool completely on wire rack.

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Then slice, serve, and enjoy!

Linked to Inspire Me Monday, Creative Time Out.

Irish Soda Bread

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Whenever St. Patrick’s Day comes around, I see different recipes for Irish Soda Bread and I finally decided to try making it this year. I found a recipe at Kraft that sounded good and it looked pretty easy, too. I modified it slightly and was happy with how it turned out! It has a lightly sweet taste that kind of reminds me of a scone. I think it’s great with butter and jam, although it’s also good without anything on it because the raisins in the bread and the sugar sprinkled on top give it a lightly sweet taste. If you don’t have time to make it for St. Patrick’s Day, it’s a great recipe to keep in mind for brunch any time of the year!

IRISH SODA BREAD by NancyCreative, slightly adapted from KraftRecipes.com

Makes 1 round loaf

  • 3 1/4 cups unbleached flour
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 Tablespoon sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter, cut into small chunks
  • 1 1/3 cups buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup golden raisins

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease or spray a baking sheet with cooking spray; set aside.

Mix flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. Cut in butter with pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add buttermilk and raisins; stir just until moistened.

Place dough on lightly floured surface; knead 10 times. Shape dough into a 2 1/2″ thick slightly dome-shaped round; place on prepared baking sheet. Cut a  1/2″ deep “X” in top of dough and sprinkle with remaining sugar.

Bake at 350˚F for 47 to 52 minutes or until loaf is golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (I baked mine for 52 minutes and probably could have baked it a few minutes less). Remove from baking sheet to wire rack; cool completely before cutting into wedges and serve (this tastes great warm, too, so go ahead and serve it warm if you want–it just may not slice as easily).

NOTE: You can store leftover bread in a resealable plastic bag at room temperature for up to 24 hours; for longer storage, wrap bread tightly and freeze up to 2 months–thaw at room temperature before serving.

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Have you made any special Irish recipes this year?

Linked to Inspire Me Monday, Anti-Procrastination Tuesday.

Time for some Egg Nog!

I just bought some egg nog a few days ago and hopefully I’ll get a chance to try out a new egg nog recipe soon. But in the meantime, I thought I’d share a few yummy recipes I’ve made before…

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This Egg Nog Bread is moist and rich, with a subtle egg nog flavor and a creamy egg nog glaze–yum!

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And these Egg Nog-Cranberry Muffins are a treat, too…they actually have a lighter, cupcake-like texture, so you can have them for breakfast or dessert! :) They’re made with dried cranberries and also topped with a glaze and finely chopped nuts.

Enjoy your holiday egg nog this season! :)

Pumpkin Cornbread or Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins

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I had never heard of Pumpkin Cornbread until last year, when I saw some recipes on a few blogs. I knew I wanted to try making it, but I just ran out of time last autumn. So I was determined to make it this fall! I found a recipe from Sugar Crafter that I ended up trying and it was good, but my cornbread turned out a little drier than I like. So I tried it again with a few modifications…a lower baking temperature, a little plain yogurt to make it a little more moist, and a bit of honey to give it a nice hint of sweetness that complements the cinnamon and nutmeg flavors.

This recipe makes an 8×8″ pan of delicious Pumpkin Cornbread. Or, you can make Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins instead with this same recipe…it makes 12 beautiful, nicely rounded-top muffins that taste great warm out of the oven, spread with some butter and drizzled with some honey (they taste great without extra butter and honey, too, if you’re watching your calories).

Here’s my version of the recipe if you’d like to try it out!

PUMPKIN CORNBREAD or PUMPKIN CORNBREAD MUFFINS by Nancy Creative, adapted from Sugar Crafter

Makes one 8×8″ pan of cornbread or 12 cornbread muffins

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (I used all-purpose unbleached flour)
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt (I used plain Greek yogurt)
  • 1/4 cup canola oil (or you can substitute light olive oil)
  • 1 Tablespoon molasses
  • 1/2 Tablespoon honey

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease an 8×8″ baking pan or line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, and cornmeal (using a whisk to blend these ingredients works well); after blending ingredients well, set aside.

In a large bowl, beat eggs, then stir in the pumpkin puree, plain yogurt, canola oil, molasses, and honey.

Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until combined. Pour batter into the greased 8×8″ baking pan, smoothing the top, OR spoon batter into 12 lined muffin cups (each cup should be about 2/3 full of batter).

Bake CORNBREAD (in 8×8″ pan) at 375 degrees for 22 to 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean or almost clean (be careful not to over-bake cornbread, or it will be too dry).

Bake CORNBREAD MUFFINS at 375 degrees for 14 to 15 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean or almost clean (do not over-bake, or muffins will be too dry and may brown on the bottom).

I kind of prefer this cornbread in muffin form, but it really is good both ways! These are the perfect thing to make for a fall breakfast or brunch, and they make a great snack, too.

Are you a cornbread-lover? Do you have a special way of making it during the autumn season?

Yum Plum Crumb Loaf

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Yum Plum Crumb Loaf…a little bit of a tongue-twister, but it really does describe this moist and tasty quick bread! Ann, who has lots of yummy recipes and had lots of plums from her backyard plum tree, gave me a recipe for Plum Bread that a friend gave her, which I changed up by adding a little more plums, a little more baking soda, and a crumb mixture on top. There’s actually some crumb mixture in the middle of the loaf too, just to give it a little extra sweetness, but it’s not very visible. I used red plums in this but you can use any kind of plum, or you could probably substitute peaches or nectarines, too–I haven’t tried that yet, but I don’t see why you couldn’t! I strongly recommend using parchment paper to line your loaf pan (instead of greasing the pan)–it will come out much easier, since all you have to do is lift it out of the pan with the parchment paper edges, and you won’t mess up your tasty crumb topping.

This is a very moist, yummy bread that’s great for breakfast, brunch, or dessert. And it’s a great way to use those plums from your plum tree or from the farmer’s market! It does take a little time to chop up your plums, but other than that, it’s easy to make. You don’t even have to peel the plums! Making the crumb topping ahead of time is also a handy time-saver.

Plums remind me of summer, and now that summer is officially here, it seemed like the perfect time to share this recipe with you!

YUM PLUM CRUMB LOAF by NancyCreative

Makes one 9×5″ loaf

  • 1 1/4 cups pitted, finely chopped plums (you don’t need to peel the plums)
  • 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I used unbleached flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • CRUMB TOPPING: Mix together 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, 2 Tablespoons packed brown sugar, and 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar; then add 1 1/2 Tablespoons chilled butter and mix with a fork until topping is crumbly.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a 9×5″ loaf pan with parchment paper.

Finely chop the plums, place in a small bowl, and sprinkle with 1 Tablespoon flour, tossing to coat. Set aside.

In large bowl, beat butter, sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs and beat well.

In medium bowl, blend flour, salt, and baking soda. Stir dry ingredients into the egg mixture, then blend in the yogurt, mixing well until you have a smooth batter. Lightly stir in the flour-coated plums.

Pour or spoon half the batter into your parchment-lined loaf pan, then take 1/3 cup of the crumb topping and sprinkle evenly over the batter. Add the rest of the batter to the pan, spreading evenly, and top with the rest of the crumb topping.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (my baking time was 50 minutes). Remove from oven and let cool about 10 minutes. With the edges of the parchment paper, lift loaf out of pan. You can either cool the loaf completely and slice, or slice the loaf while still warm and serve.

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Do you like to bake or cook with plums? What’s your favorite plum recipe?

Ann’s Jalapeno (or Green Chile) Cornbread

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If you’re a fan of cornbread or savory, cheesy breads, I think you will love this recipe! Ann gave it to me last fall, after I had made some Cheddar and Green Onion Cornbread. I finally got around to making this, and wish I had made it much sooner because it is sooooo good! It’s a moist, cheesy cornbread with bacon, onion, and pimiento added in. And also, of course, jalapenos, which give the cornbread a nice spicy kick. If you don’t want it spicy, use green chiles instead, and you’ll have a tasty, mild and savory cornbread.

This cornbread is perfect for breakfast or brunch any time of year. You could serve it with eggs and breakfast potatoes (like these yummy Onion-Roasted Potatoes). Since this cornbread has bacon in it, you could even just serve it with a fruit salad for a lighter breakfast.

ANN’S JALAPENO (OR GREEN CHILE) CORNBREAD

  • 2 (8.5-ounce) packages Jiffy® corn muffin mix
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used canola oil)
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 (2-ounce) jar diced pimiento, drained (optional)
  • 1/2 pound bacon (cut in small pieces and fried) or substitute a 3-ounce package of real bacon pieces–about 3/4 cup
  • 1 small grated onion
  • 1/4 cup (or more, to taste) chopped jalapenos OR 1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13″ pan or spray with cooking spray.

In large bowl, mix corn muffin mix, sugar, eggs, vegetable (or canola) oil, and milk, blending well. Add in corn, cheese, pimiento, bacon, onion, and jalapenos or green chiles. Mix all ingredients together, blending well; pour into prepared pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes (mine took 50 minutes to bake), until top is golden and set. Serve immediately or while still warm.

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This really is a must-try recipe!

There are so many variations of cornbread–some are cakey, and some are moist, like this one. Some are pretty simple, and some, like this, have lots of add-ins. Which way do you like cornbread best?